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Durliat, Marcel

    Full Name: Durliat, Marcel

    Other Names:

    • Marcel Durliat

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1917

    Date Died: 2006

    Place Born: Anjoutey, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

    Home Country/ies: France

    Subject Area(s): French (culture or style), Medieval (European), Romanesque, and Spanish (culture or style)


    Professor of the history of medieval art at the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail, 1962-1978; specialist in Spanish and French Romanesque art. Durliat was the son of Auguste Durliat, a weaver, and of Céline Steffan. He attended the école normale at Vesoul and subsequently the école Normale Supérieure at Saint-Cloud, acting as its librarian during World War II, 1941 and 1945, and graduating in history in 1945 (agrégé d’histoire). In 1942 he married Antoinette Grossi. He was appointed professor at the Lycée of Perpignan in 1945, a position he held until 1954. In that year, the fourth volume of his publication on Romanesque sculpture in the Rousillon region appeared, La sculpture romane en Roussillon. For the next four years he worked as a researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). In 1958 he obtained a teaching position at the University of Toulouse-le Mirail. Between 1954 and 1962, he also served as conservateur des Antiquités et objets d’art des Pyrénées-Orientales. After receiving his doctoral degree (Docteur è Lettres) from the Sorbonne in 1961, he was appointed a professor of the history of medieval art at Toulouse-Le Mirail in 1962. His dissertation was L’art dans le Royaume de Majorque. A number of his books appeared in the Zodiaque series “La nuit des temps”. He retired in 1979. In 1982 L’art roman appeared, which is a comprehensive and critical study of the different manifestations of Romanesque art in Europe and beyond. Des Barbares à l’an mil followed in 1985. This was the year of Europalia 85 España, for which, among other events, an exhibition was organized in Ghent, Belgium, on the thousand years of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. For this exhibition Durliat was a member of the editorial board of the catalog and a contributor. In 1990 he published a major synthesis on Romanesque sculpture along the route to Compostela, from France to Spain, La sculpture romane de la route de Saint-Jacques. De Conques à Compostelle. Durliat was honored with a Festchrift for his 75th birthday in 1992, De la création à la restauration. Travaux d’histoire de l’art offerts à Marcel Durliat. In the last contribution of this volume, “Un Saint-Sernin nouveau”, Henri Pradalier shared Durliat’s opposition to the controversial restoration of the church of Saint Sernin in Toulouse, a project that aimed at bringing the building back to its state prior to the restoration by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the nineteenth century. In the introduction to his study, La sculpture romane de la route de Saint-Jacques. De Conques à Compostelle, Durliat takes into account the different views of art historians, including Émile Bertaux, Manuel Gómez Moreno, A. Kingsley Porter, Paul Deschamps, and Georges Gaillard, regarding the origins of Romanesque art north and south of the Pyrenees. His synthesis adopted a chronological framework for the study of the history of Romanesque art and architecture in France and Spain along the pilgrims’ roads to Santiago de Compostella.

    Selected Bibliography

    “Bibliographie de Marcel Durliat établie jusqu’en 1991”. De la création à la restauration. Travaux d’histoire de l’art offerts à Marcel Durliat. Toulouse: Atelier d’histoire de l’art méridional, 1992, pp. 9-27; [dissertation:] L’art dans le royaume de Majorque; les débuts de l’art gothique en Rousillon, en Cerdagne et aux Baléares. Toulouse: Privately printed, 1962; La sculpture romane en Roussillon. 4 vols. Perpignan: La Tramontane, 1948-1954; Arts anciens du Roussillon, 1. Peinture. Perpignan: Conseil général des Pyrénées Orientales, 1954; Roussillon roman. La Pierre-Qui-Vire: Zodiaque, 1958; Pyrenées romanes. La Pierre-Qui-Vire: Zodiaque, 1969; Haut-Languedoc roman. La Pierre-Qui-Vire: Zodiaque, 1978; L’art roman. Paris: éditions d’art Lucien Mazenod, 1982; Des Barbares à l’an mil. Paris: Lucien Mazenod, 1985; Saint-Sernin de Toulouse. Toulouse: Eché, 1986; La sculpture romane de la route de Saint-Jacques. De Conques à Compostelle. Mont-de-Marsan: Comité d’études sur l’histoire et l’art de la Gascogne, 1990.


    Who’s Who in France. Paris: éditions Jacques Lafitte, 1981-1982, pp. 526-527; [obituary:] Pradalier, H. “Marcel Durliat (1917-2006)” Bulletin Monumental 165 (2, 2007): 139-141.

    Contributors: Monique Daniels


    Monique Daniels. "Durliat, Marcel." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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